Cisco Extends ACI -- But Not All Of It -- To Legacy Nexus Environments

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Cisco also said Friday that version 5.0 of UCS Director, Cisco's unified converged infrastructure management solution for its UCS, VCE Vblock, Cisco FlexPod and EMC VSPEX environments, is being integrated with APIC.

"When we are talking about ACI, we are not worried just about the network provisioning piece. We want to make sure customers can address their broader environment, and UCS Director and its integration with APIC is a very helpful piece of that," Limkakeng said.

The integration, he continued, will give customers a single point for managing ACI alongside their converged infrastructure, letting them administer compute, network, virtualization and storage from one interface. Limkakeng said more integration details would come over the next few quarters.

Cisco is integrating ACI with other converged infrastructure solutions, such as FlexPod and Vblock. Cisco said reference designs for FlexPod Datacenter with Nexus 9000 Series are available now, and that VCE customers today can order Vblock with Cisco Nexus 9000 switches.

Cisco, meanwhile, also expanded its Nexus 9000 switch lineup to include three new models: the Nexus 9336PQ fixed switch, targeted at smaller ACI deployments; the Nexus 9396TG top-of-rack switch designed for either traditional tiered architectures or ACI; and the N9K-X9736PQ line card for enabling an Application-Centric Modular Spine for the already announced Nexus 9500 platform.

Cisco also said it is extending Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) support across the Nexus 3000, 5000, 6000, 7000 and 9000 switches.

On the call with analysts, Chambers said he expects the San Jose, Calif., company to return to growth over the next few quarters after three consecutive quarters of reporting a loss. For its third fiscal quarter, ended April 26, Cisco reported revenue of $11.5 billion, down 5.5 percent from the $12.2 billion it reported during the same period last year.

Cisco's core routing and switching units were down 10 percent and 6 percent year over year, respectively, and Chambers said it will take "at least one or probably two quarters" before Nexus 9000 adoption gets Cisco's high-end switching business "growing well."


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